Jillian Hurst, PhD, was recently named Director of Research Initiatives for the Children’s Health and Discovery Initiative (CHDI). In this new position, she will provide strategic and operational leadership for research initiatives, research portfolio management, and community engagement activities for investigators and trainees both within and external to Duke. In addition, she will work with CHDI leadership and related entities to develop and implement strategies that facilitate research into child health and well-being and the long-term consequences of early life factors that contribute to disease risk. Dr. Hurst will also oversee the development of strategic partnerships and investment opportunities with other Duke University offices and programs, industry, federal agencies, and philanthropic organizations.
“As the Program Director for the Children's Health and Discovery Initiative for the past few years, Dr. Hurst has demonstrated an exceptional ability to bring multidisciplinary teams together to successfully achieve a new level of research that would not have been possible without the collaborative environment”, says Sallie Permar, MD, PhD, Director of the CHDI. “While trained as a molecular biologist, she has become well-versed in the broad areas of research that CHDI fosters, including clinical research, data science, and health policy and has been at the core of the successful acquisition of over 20 million dollars in external funding over the last two years. With Dr. Hurst leading the development of research initiatives across the CHDI, we will be well poised to continue and expand the CHDI’s broad engagement of faculty across Duke’s campus and beyond in research that will improve the lives and health of children.”
Dr. Hurst received her PhD in pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences from the University of Georgia in 2009 for her work on the regulation of lysophospholipid signaling pathways in ovarian cancer and neural development in the laboratory of Shelley Hooks. She then moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to work on ubiquitin-mediated regulation of MAP kinase cascades in Henrik Dohlman’s lab. She was a staff science editor at the Journal of Clinical Investigation and JCI Insight from 2012-2017.